PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – As of Jan. 1, more Oregon families now qualify for child care financial assistance through the Employment-Related Day Care program. 

The program expanded in 2023 to include non-working students with children and will now provide coverage for child care during a caretaker’s study time and for caretakers who work night shifts. 

Through Employment-Related Day Care, the Oregon Department of Human Services pays a portion of a family’s child care bill. The amount subsidized depends on a family’s situation. In some cases, child care may be covered fully and in others, the program will cover part of the cost.  

“For many families, the cost of child care can be a barrier to meeting their educational goals and entering and staying in the workforce,” said ODHS Director Fariborz Pakseresht. “By expanding access to the ERDC program, Oregon is significantly enhancing the support it provides to families to strengthen their well-being.”  

The expansion applies to students in high school, a GED program, or college. They are no longer required to work to qualify for child care assistance. 

“Continuing one’s education is a full-time job, and I am excited that individuals pursuing their education in Oregon will have access to affordable child care,” said Early Learning Division Director Alyssa Chatterjee. 

The new changes to the Employment-Related Day Care program also mean that caretakers on medical leave for their own condition or their child’s can continue to receive benefits and participants can continue to use their child care benefits when they’re on leave to care for someone outside their household.